If “Ginger Snaps” was a hard flaming shot of vodka in a neighborhood bar, Nickelodeon’s counterpart “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” is a Virgin Fruit Colada in an outdoor cafe. While this movie is meant as mere Halloween filler while simultaneously working as a vehicle for Nickelodeon’s key star Victoria Justice, “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” ends up being a surprisingly solid family horror comedy that isn’t as soapy or girly as I originally assumed it would be. Within the pandering to preteens salivating after Justice, there is also a solid however flawed and derivative story and some wicked special effects. Sure the flick rips off of “Spider-Man,” and “Young Frankenstein,” but it’s still an entertaining time filler with potential to be a franchise or new series, which Nick seems to be going for in the goofy final scene.
And you have to love how the writers rip off Mel Brooks by turning Brooke Shields in to a Cloris Leachman clone named Madame V who every time her name is mentioned we hear wolves howling in the background. Movie buffs will instantly notice this is a rip off of the gag where whenever Frau Blucher’s name is muttered horses neigh, but this might be the perfect segue in to actual comedy and an introduction in to Brooks classic comedies. “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” is a crowd pleasing little horror comedy about Jordan, a goofy, gawky, allergy ridden high schooler who is the local reject in her class. Justice is dappered up like a librarian through most of the film as she weathers rude classmates, a crush she has no chance with, and a little brother obsessed with horror movies and scaring his sister.
He even has a wall of pictures with Jordan’s mug crying out in horror. Some say future Manson, I guess this is their way of indicating a horror geek. Jordan her brother Hunter, and dad David are still haunted by their mom’s death (another apparent horror geek), and shockingly discover they’ve inherited a castle in Romania in the town of Wolfsberg (Say… think there are wolves around there?). They’re the descendents of a count who handed over the castle to them, and Jordan and Hunter discover the quirks of the Romanian town preparing for the local werewolf festival and a run in with a vial of mysterious blood turns Jordan from geek to sleek. Her instantaneous transformation blossoms her in to a brand new geek who is prettier but still acts weird bouncing over bushes, lusting after meat, and giggling like a school girl, all the while Hunter is trying to decide how to kill her before the full moon turns her in to a werewolf.
Surely enough she eventually does, and the make up effects artists don’t let us down providing a wicked transformation scene for Justice who becomes a ravaging monster stalking her brother and hunting through the night in her town. Along the way we learn the mystery of Madam V (Shields is also quite funny in her supporting role), the mysterious old man following Hunter, and the intent of the eager real estate agent Paulina who is desperate to sell the castle and romance lonesome dad David. “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” has much more in store for it than a simple werewolf tale, and carries a nice eighties vibe to it that with a lot more violence would have made for a wicked little cult classic, but for what it promises it guarantees some nice creeps and great special effects, all the while director Eric Bross strives for an epic scale in the miniscule television budget he’s handed.
There is suggested violence and some creepy scenes of wolf danger, but the attraction is here for Justice’s fans, and she handles the role well garnering the make up and taking on this entertaining and surprising horror comedy that kids will surely enjoy. Back in my day we called them werewolves and not lycanthropes, and “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” works as a decent horror comedy, an amusing dedication to the classic werewolf movies of the golden age of film, and a vehicle for Victoria Justice who works well under the confines of the genre. Ultimately, I’m an equal opportunity horror geek, and I suggest this for a family horror night.